I've always identified as part rebel (like it's a census box or something). I get into things on the early side, but, I can also tend to change my mind once everyone gets to the party (nothing intentional, or personal, by the way).
Which brings me to "learning and technology."
I was on that band-wagon early, shaking those online learning pom poms years ago.
But that was before I needed to actually learn something from those online courses. Technology for learning something new and challenging took on a whole new meaning as soon as I needed to make quantified progress.
I found it hard to connect with the material on a computer, and I'd feel distracted and bored. I even got to the point of feeling dread when it was time to "learn online" - and I never feel that way about the SATs. I couldn't find that "Oh My God 7 Letter Scrabble Word" sensation, which is how my whole obsession with the SAT began.
I kept wondering, is it "me?" Or is it "online learning?"
I waxed on about my skepticism, and people wrote back that maybe I'm "too old" (thanks), or that I'd taken the wrong courses.
But then came a story on the front page of the New York Times last Sunday, "The Class Room of the Future," that made me want find a New York City rooftop so I could stand on top and shout loudly: "I told you soooooo....."
I could pull-quote the whole darn article because it's as if the writer went inside my head and took dictation, but I'll just pull a few choice quotes:
"There's a connection between the physical hand on the paper and the words on the page," she said. "It's intimate."
There are times in Kyrene when the technology seems to allow students to disengage from the learning: They are left at computers to perform a task but wind up playing around, suggesting , as some researchers have found, that computers can distract and not instruct.
I'll end with this thought:
I do believe that technology will have a legitimate role in the process of learning in the future -- but I haven't experienced it personally, yet, and I was not surprised to read that there's no proof in the pudding for all those billions of dollars that have been spent so far.
Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis